The Ruth Whenham book collection is now available at Marston Vale Country Park Forest Centre and Fairies n Frogs in Ampthill. The full list of local stockists is available here!.
I was very excited to walk into Waterstones (Bedford) and see all five of my books on the shelf. Only problem is that they are tucked away at the bottom under "W". So, what did I do? What any self-respecting author would do - rearranged them (just a little!) to increase their visibility, then left!
So, the next time you happen to be passing Waterstones, please do pop in and take a look at my books, and before leaving could you give them a little shuffle on the shelf too!
The lovely 'La Dolce Vita' on Mill Road in Cranfield (Bedford) is now stocking the Ruth Whenham book collection. Hooray! This unusual shop comprises a floristry service, fresh wet fish counter, a selection of exotic meats (crocodile, ostrich etc), fruit, vegetables, cakes and gifts. It really is a lovely place to visit for something a little bit different.
Firstly, a big thank you to all my friends and family who popped in to see me at my author book signing event in Bedford Waterstones yesterday. It was lovely to receive all your support, not to the mention the box of Maltesers (Deborah) and the Costa Coffee (Rachael and Helen).
The day went extremely well for me. It was really good to chat with customers, find out which books appealed most to the children, and of course sign books and make sales. The staff in Waterstones told me my sales figures were very strong for a one day event, despite the fact that I found myself trying to talk one particularly enthusiastic customer out of buying so many books.
"Are you sure you want all the books in hardback? That is going to be quite expensive."
Fortunately she was not dissuaded from her decision!
Interestingly, I found that the spread of sales across the titles was very even, although Birthday Cake Disaster proved to be the most popular (just!).
For those of you who are interested, there are currently signed copies of all my titles for sale in Bedford Waterstones.
Through an Amazon programme called KDP select, authors can offer their ebooks for free download for up to 5 days (every 3 months). Friends who are not in the business of being an indie author wonder why I would do this; giving books away for free does seem counterintuitive, that's for sure.
The fact is that the biggest challenge for me and other indie authors is how to get discovered amidst huge competition, and also how to persuade new readers to take a chance on an author they haven't tried before. Offering free ebooks from time to time is one way to raise your profile. Many book recommendation sites will feature your book if it is available for free (without charging for advertising, just so long as they think their readers will be interested of course), and for a few days you are discoverable. The reader has nothing to lose in giving your book a try!
The idea is that new readers will enjoy your book and consider purchasing other ebooks that you have written or invest in a paperback copy. In addition to this the indie author hopes that readers will post reviews on Amazon or other sites such as Goodreads. Reviews are really important to indie authors. We need genuine feedback to help us showcase and sell our books.
I have just finished a free ebook promotion with my book, Captain Sillyvoice and his Pirate Band. This is the third time I have offered one of my books for free and the results have been the best yet. The ebook was downloaded by UK, American, Canadian and Japanese customers. I was particularly delighted by the number of Japanese customers.
It is now a waiting game to see whether readers post reviews, make other purchases or even do both!
If you downloaded a copy of Captain Sillyvoice and his Pirate Band, please do post a review.
I will be doing a book signing event at my local bookstore, Waterstones, and for this I am going to need some promotional material. I asked my husband if he could sort out a poster for me. He was keen to help. As it turns out, a bit too keen!
He told me that he'd ordered the poster and was sure I'd be happy with it. Well, it arrived today. It wasn't quite the A3 poster I had in mind. I think he got a little over-excited!
I shouldn't really have been surprised. If he is ever tasked with the food shopping, he normally returns with donuts, exotic fruits that 'look interesting', and a whole basketful of assorted biscuits. And the items on the actual list? Well, a few make it into the shopping bag!
Up until recently only my first two titles have been available in hardback but this has now changed. All my titles are now available to order in paperback, hardback or eBook formats. The books can be found on most book websites and can also be ordered through bookshops.
Ruth Whenham, children's book author